New-look Aussies ‘copped a lot’, says Lehmann
ADELAIDE: Australia coach Darren Lehmann said his players “copped a lot” of criticism before they emphatically halted a run of Test defeats against South Africa, adding that he’d love to keep his new-look team together.
Lehmann said he was delighted for the experimental side, which featured five changes including three debutants, as Australia’s selection gamble paid off in the third Test against South Africa.
The Australians ended a five-Test losing streak with a commanding sevenwicket victory over the Proteas, after being well beaten in the previous two games of the three-Test series.
“Well, we won,” he said, when asked what the difference was compared to the first two Tests, which left Australia on the verge of their first ever home Test series whitewash.
“I’m just pleased for the players. The players have copped a lot over the last few weeks and they’ve responded really well. Obviously a change of players as well.
“You feel sad for the blokes who missed out in this Test match but the guys who came in did a really good job... a new young group going forward, really pleased for them.”
Lehmann said the door wasn’t closed for the players who were dropped, but added that he’d like to keep the new group together — if that is possible, with varying playing conditions and peaks and troughs in form.
“You’d love to have continuity all the time (but) in this day and age sometimes that’s not possible,” Lehmann said.
“But you’d love to keep a group together, a younger group especially with David Warner being our oldest at 30.
“If you can keep the group together for five years or so, or whatever it is — until the older guys go — it makes it easier.
“But then you’ve got different conditions and blokes in and out of form. So you just have to sum it up along the way, but yeah it’d be lovely to do that.”